Home Cyberpsychology & Technology Britain’s Top 10 “Tech Faux Pas” Revealed

Britain’s Top 10 “Tech Faux Pas” Revealed

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Described as a communication error or mistake made through technology, the nation seems no stranger to a “tech faux pas”.

New research1 by musicMagpie has revealed that a shocking 82% of Brits have made tech faux pas in their personal lives or at work, with many leading to dire consequences for the perpetrator. 

Friends take the top spot (29%) as the most likely recipient of our tech trip-ups, with partners coming in a close second (28%), followed by colleagues (24%), parents (13%) and ex-partners (10%). 4% have even made a tech faux pas to their ex’s new partner – eek! 

According to the research, the ten most common tech faux pas Brits make in their personal lives.

  • Sending a text to the wrong person (67%)
  • Pocket dialling someone without intending to (33%)
  • Sending a private message in a group chat (26%)
  • Forgetting to put your phone on silent in a public setting (23%)
  • Spell-check changing a word to something inappropriate (18%)
  • Accidentally playing music out loud in a public space (16%)
  • Sending a “sext” to the wrong person (15%)
  • Liking someone’s photo on social media when “stalking” them (14%)
  • Liking someone’s photo from years ago when “stalking” them (12%)
  • Sending a private image to the wrong person, e.g. a “nude” (9%) 

Splitting the results down by age, 25–34-year-olds are more likely to make a “tech faux pas” in their personal life than any other group, with almost two in five being sexual in nature (38%). In comparison, those aged 55–64 are the biggest culprits for not double-checking the recipient before hitting send (81%).

Tech errors aren’t just limited to our personal lives, though, with more than one in three (36%) admitting to committing a tech faux pas while on the job. The top 10 most common are as follows: 

  • Sending a message or email to the wrong person (56%)
  • Getting someone’s name wrong in a message or email (39%)
  • “Replying all” by accident (37%)
  • Misspelling a word in an email to something inappropriate (17%)
  • Sharing inappropriate emojis in a message by accident (14%)
  • Getting someone’s gender wrong from their name in a message or email (12%)
  • Saying something inappropriate when you’re not on mute (10%)
  • Sharing your screen in a meeting whilst displaying private content (9%)
  • Accidentally playing music out loud in a meeting or the office (8%)
  • Doing something inappropriate when you’re camera is turned on (7%)

Environment and agriculture employees are the most likely to make a tech faux pas at work (49%), the most common being getting someone’s name wrong.

However, it’s those in the security and law enforcement industry who have seen some of the most shocking consequences of their tech-cident – out of the 47% that have made a tech faux pas, one respondent even revealed they were sued in court. That’s not all; 100% of employees in this industry admitted to emailing the wrong person. 

We’re not just committing tech faux pas but also receiving them. Over half of us (60%) have been on the receiving end of a technological blunder. Despite a quarter (24%) of us letting the person know and forgetting about it, 17% broke up with their partner because of it, and 15% fell out with a friend or friends. One in five (18%) opted for the passive-aggressive route of leaving a group chat. 

As for those making tech errors at work, one in 12 (8%) were met with a warning or even disciplinary action.

Commenting on the research, Liam Howley, chief marketing officer at musicMagpie said: “We’ve all had that moment when we’ve hit send and minutes later your stomach drops… wrong person, dodgy typo, or worse.

“With most of our communication now happening through our technological devices, it’s clear from our research that tech faux pas is more prevalent than ever before, and we all have some brushing up on our digital etiquette.

“However, with over 80% of the population having committed a tech faux pas, you can rest safe knowing that you’re certainly not alone!”

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